Billy Noel Meeks (April 17th,1919- August 18th, 2011)
by Rod Woods on Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 10:42am
My father, Billy Noel Meeks, passed away this morning at 4am PST at the age of 92. He was a great man who carried himself with dignity and grace. He was kind and always friendly to everyone. He was a WW II veteran stationed in the Philippines during the war in The Pacific and a Master Technical Sergeant with the United States Army in charge of the main cryptographic/message center in the Pacific directly under General Douglas MacArthur's supervision. He was credited for shooting down the first Japanese Zero that was recovered intact and then shipped back to the San Diego Naval Base. The Zero was then repaired and flown by the "top gun" pilots of the USN to determine it's strengths and weaknesses. That information was then given to the USN naval fleet and it's pilots in the Pacific. It is my opinion that that information helped the USA win that war. *Note: Bill shot the Zero down from the side of a cliff in the Philippines with an Gharand rifle loaded with armor piercing rounds and tracers. He had shot the oil line in two on the Zero. The Japanese pilot managed to fly the plane to another island where he landed and then flipped over the plane which broke his neck. He was born on April 17th, 1919 in New Mexico. After the war- he was overseas for the duration of the war in the Pacific Theater (5 years) until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945- he then attended the Claremont Liberal Arts College for men in Claremont, California attaining a B.A. in English. He was a high school teacher and taught English Literature in the Huntington Beach Union High School District for 25 years. He loved to hunt and fish. Although he was a very intelligent man he came off as just a regular guy. He enjoyed a cold beer and liked to play five-card-draw poker. He was extraordinarily well-read and was a great teacher- He was my English teacher my senior year (1967) at Huntington Beach High School. He will be buried at The Riverside Veterans Cemetery in Riverside, California with full military honors. He is survived by his beloved wife, Ursa Jean Meeks (88) , his sister Elaine (90), his sons Bill Brian Meeks and Rodney Alan Woods (61), his daughter Rebecca R. Nixon, eight grand-children, and seven great-grand children. God bless you and keep you in His eternal Love, Billy.
R. Alan Woods
Ursa Jean Meeks (left) and husband Billy Noel Meeks (right) taken in 2003. Billy Noel Meeks (April 16th, 1919- August 18th, 2011).